A gay student at UMass Dartmouth parked his car on campus Saturday afternoon, only to return to it later painted with anti-gay slurs. "We’ve never experienced anything like this before,’’ says a university spokesman. “This is a very isolated incident." Police investigating the incident agree. Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack sent an email to students alerting them to the incident, described as "a crime against an individual but also an affront to the very essence of our community," and reminding them there resources available for anyone who feels bullied or harassed. "As members of a community that highly value every person, we must join together to condemn this cowardly act,’’ MacCormack says. “We must join in support of this student and all members of our GLBT community who — like all of us — seek to be treated with respect and dignity as they pursue their dreams and aspirations here." To see such an immediate reaction from UMass Dartmouth brass is encouraging, especially in the Clementi Era.
A pro-marriage equality sculpture that is part of an exhibition at The Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles was vandalized earlier this week. The piece featured a pair of male grooms on top of a wedding cake.
The vandalism took place on Tuesday, so we know that it at least wasn't
a response to this week's Prop 8 ruling which came down on Wednesday.
"The two guys were unfortunately torn off and thrown about the gallery
along with some other embellishments,” says Eilen R. Stewart, the
museum's exhibitions and publicity coordinator. “Whether this was done
by someone who had heard that the judge’s ruling was coming or someone
who was just expressing their anger, we don’t know."
A group of high schoolers had visited the museum that day but it is unclear if they had anything to do with the indicent.
Artist Susan Tibbles originally made the assemblage, consisting of found objects, as an illustration for a 2008 L.A. Times opinion piece by Nancy Polikoff, “Marriage Isn’t the Half of It." The artwork reached the Craft and Folk
Art Museum as part of a group show, “Some Assembly Required: Race,
Gender and Globalization.”
The museum plans to ship the work back to the artist for
repair, hoping it can go back on view before the show closes on Sept.
12. In the meantime, the artist and museum both are still trying to
make sense of the violent act. “I was surprised this happened,” says Tibbles. “It’s just a sweet
little cake with a little message on it–well, a big message I think.
For me the upsetting thing is thinking that it might be an 18-year old
who did this. It makes you wonder what we are teaching our kids.”